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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

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Mentoring 301: Tips for the Academic Online Interview

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Among other things, January is national mentoring month. And like much of academia in the midst of the hiring season, I recently sat in on a Skype Interview. In this version of the first-round interview, the institution has a faculty panel (and perhaps a student or two) asking questions of a candidate who may be across the hall or across the nation. When we finished the online conversation, my colleagues and I all agreed that the candidate, who has just received their doctoral degree, had not received good mentoring in how to approach an interview.

Jim Childress talks about the necessity of good mentoring in his 2007 chapter, Mentoring in Bioethics: “Based on gratitude, if nothing else, experienced and established bioethicists should feel an obligation to mentor newcomers to the field who may or may not be their own students.” We owe it to future bioethics scholars to help them because we received such support in launching our own careers: Pay it forward.…

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BioethicsTV (January 8-12, 2018): Convincing Patients to Consent; History of Sterilization

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 11): Coercing Consent

A pair of conjoined twins are in the hospital for a kidney transplant from one twin to the other. In 6 months, they are scheduled for separation surgery which is challenging because they share an intertwined brain vasculature. Post kidney surgery, one twin goes into cardiac failure as the load on her heart is putting a strain on her body. The answer is to move up the separation surgery to the next 12 hours. Both twins are about 18 years of age (since both are about to enter college) and their mother has said that all medical decisions are theirs and theirs alone.…

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This entry was posted in BioethicsTV, Featured Posts, Informed Consent, Justice and tagged , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


Blindness Cure Is Out of Sight

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The FDA has approved the world’s first gene therapy: Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec; AAV2-hRPE65v2) is a one-time intervention that can treat an inherited retinal disease (RPE65-mediated inherited retinal dystrophy). The disease is rare, affecting only 1,000-2,000 people in the U.S. The treatment works by introducing a virus to the eye that contains a healthy copy of the gene that caused the blindness. In a phase 3 trial of 31 subjects (20 intervention; 9 control; 2 withdrew), 65% of patients who received the procedure experienced dramatic improvements in their vision. While patient’s do not develop “normal” sight, they can see far more than was possible before the gene correction.…

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BioethicsTV (December 29, 2017-January 5, 2018): Medical Research and Consent for Testing

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Black Mirror (Seasons 4; Episode 6): Medical research

In this British series exploring the potential nightmares of modern technology, this episode looked at three stories of research ethics in medicine. All three stories are told by the curator of a mysterious museum in the Nevada desert, who narrates his tales via objects he has in the collection. In his former life, he was a recruiter for medical experiments at a research hospital.

In the first story, the narrator reprimands an attending physician whose clinical outcomes are dropping below the mean. The physician is offered an experimental procedure that would allow him to feel what his patients feel without experiencing any of the physical damage.…

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A Bioethicist by Any Name

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A few months ago, I was attending a conference where the keynote speaker introduced herself as a bioethicist. She has never worked in a hospital setting; she has never performed consults; she has not written for the academic literature; nor has she taught a class. Her job was being a journalist, reporting on health and medicine. I was stumped as to why she called herself a bioethicist. In fact, one could argue that the job of a journalist is about reporting facts and events, not offering moral arguments and taking positions. I found my answer in her biography, she earned a master in bioethics in 2017.…

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This entry was posted in Clinical Ethics, Featured Posts, professional ethics and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


“It’s a beautiful thing: The destruction of words”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well…”

My first career out of college was as a writer. I wrote for my alma mater’s alumni magazine, a travel publication, and even technical writing on how to use computer systems before landing a coveted job as an editor at a magazine. As a journalist and as a scholar, the notion of intellectual freedom is one of my core values—the freedom to investigate what I wish, to write up my findings and my analyses, and to share those words, ideas, and analyses with the world.…

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This entry was posted in Ethics, Featured Posts, Politics, Social Justice, Uncategorized and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


BioethicsTV (12/11-13): Confidentiality, Cost, Religious Objection

Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 4)

Confidentiality: A husband comes into the ER with his wife who is experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. He does not look well so Dr. Halstead gives him an examination. Tests results are inconclusive for Zika virus. The patient says he was in Buffalo, NY and has not traveled anywhere known to have the virus. When Halstead says that he is going to have to test the wife for the virus because of its potential negative effects on the fetus, the husband informs Halstead that he was in Aruba with a “lady friend” and he’s not about to lose his marriage: “Did they teach you about patient confidentiality in medical school because they certainly did in law school.…

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Tax Acts of 2017: Big Changes to Health Care and Education May Be Coming

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

As you may be aware, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in conference over a major tax bill. Each chamber of Congress passed different versions of a 2017 tax reform bill. The next step is for representatives from each chamber to negotiate the differences and then to present a reconciled bill for final votes. The GOP has an ambitious timeline of completing reconciliation by the Christmas holiday meaning that the bills are being rushed and not receiving careful discussion and debate. What is important for the world of bioethics with these bills is that they contain significant changes to the health care landscape and even a few easter eggs that will effect bioethics practice.…

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#METOO Bioethics

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the December 4 episode of The Good Doctor, a medical resident is sexually harassed by her attending, who touches her when she is interacting with patients and asks her out to dinner. When she forcefully states that she is not interested in him, and has presented no signs that she is, he tells her to be careful because he could write her up for insubordination. Over the last month or so, women all over the country have posted #METOO on social media. This social activism is in response to very public reports coming to light of famous and powerful men with a history of sexual harassment of female co-workers and staff, or even minors (female and male) in their orbit.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Justice, professional ethics and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


BioethicsTV (November 27-November 30): Apologizing & Autonomy

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 9): How to Say I’m Sorry

A patient had a nodule removed from her vocal cord. Is it cancerous or benign? If cancerous, then her surgery will remove her vocal cords. If it’s benign then there is no surgery. The problem is that the sample is missing and time is running out. The hospital counsel tells the doctors that no matter what, they should not say “I’m sorry” to the patient. And of course, that is exactly what Browne does. Rather than calling her attorney, the patient is appreciative. Although “do not tell them you are sorry as it can be used as an admission of guilt in court” is traditional advice, the current literature actually suggests the opposite—saying “I’m sorry” can do more good than harm.…

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